Victory for council leaseholders on unfair bills

Grange_-_St.Saviour_Estate.JPG

Leaseholders on the St.Saviour’s Estate in Bermondsey have scored a second win in the courts against the Council over huge bills for works.

Four years ago the Council replaced all the front doors on the estate and carried out other works such as communal decorations and fire protection.  The 134 leaseholders were then billed for these major works with one leaseholder receiving a bill for £17,000.  This has been reduced to £8,000 after the leaseholders took the Council to a tribunal.

Two thirds of the St.Saviour’s leaseholders decided to challenge the size of the bills from the Council at the tribunal which found in their favour.  The Council refused to accept the decision and appealed to a higher tribunal but has now lost again. 

The Upper Tribunal found that: “the kernel of the First Tier Tribunal’s decision is that on the basis of the limited information before it, it was unable to accept the evidence of [Southwark Council].”

Southwark Liberal Democrat councillors have now asked the Council how much it has spent on fighting the St.Saviour’s leaseholders in court, whether it will now be meeting the leaseholders’ costs and when leaseholders on the estate can expect revised major works bills or be refunded.  They have also asked about the wider implications for leaseholder bills in future major works projects.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Damian O’Brien (pictured with Simon Hughes) said:

“Southwark Council has a terrible record with its leaseholders for poor consultation, sky-high bills and shoddy services.  Even the Council admits it has a real problem.

“This is just the latest setback for the Council in the courts after the ongoing saga with the Aylesbury leaseholders who Southwark want to kick out of their homes.

“Liberal Democrat councillors are fighting residents’ corner and will push the Labour council to get a fair deal for leaseholders on the St.Saviour’s estate and all future major works schemes across the borough.”